Saturday, January 21, 2017

Improvisational Sawtooth Border

While I like the vine border, the quilt doesn't seem finished. There is no more of the star background, the light blue gingham, or the bird toile. What to do? Try a contrasting color.

About a month ago, Nana suggested adding yellow, {a color she seems to love as much as Monica.} Yellow perks up against the aqua so I cut a bunch of improv triangles about 4.5" by  2-4", When sewed they trimmed to rectangles 4" long by a variety of widths.

Spiderwebs with second border layout

I'm not feeling the love. There are too many things going on here. The angles of the triangles are incoherent. Might work in a quilt with more improv but just looks odd on this quilt. This border is too narrow to be the outer border.

Thinking yellow might be the problem I cut some in pale green but don't like those any better. So it's not the color. It's really a size and angle issue for me.

Nothing is sewed except the individual rectangles. Timeout for thinking.


Enjoy the day, Ann

25 comments:

  1. Oh, and here's me thinking what a brilliant border choice. It really frames it Ann. Let it sit, get some distance. Do you like the photo more than the quilt? The photo gives it distance and focus... I just went 40 rounds with a Christmas quilt still on the wall and it's borders. I chose a batik green for an inner border, with plans for a beautiful fabric to be outer and after I finished the first one declared it done. After seeing it actually sewn and from a distance.

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    1. Letting it sit is helping. Photographing the top brought some light to my discontent. I'll just have to look a while longer. You're right. We are lucky to have digital cameras. They make designing so much easier.

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  2. Funny, I thought that this worked beautifully - the border ties in to the spiderwebs nicely and the colours work beautifully too. I also vote that you let it 'steep' for a bit because I think it works.

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    1. Yes, I thought this border would tie back to the webs but something's not working out for me. At least we both have the same sight here.

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  3. Like LeeAnna, I think this border idea does have potential. I find that when I can get a quilt top OFF the design wall and into another room or even onto the floor, I can see better what it will be like in use (crumpled in a recliner, draped over the couch, etc.). My other thought would be a skinny stop border and a scrappy piano key outer border (less chaotic but still able to pull in all the colors of your quilt). Perhaps another mock up is in order (one design on each side for comparison). Happy pondering!

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    1. Lots of good ideas here: stop border, piano keys, and another mockup. I like moving quilts around, too, but in this case there are too many itty bitty pieces. It won't be going anywhere for a while. :-)

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  4. I do like the way the narrow sawteeth echo the leaves, so I think it just needs some massaging. My suggestion is to put in a floater between the vine and the sawtooth border. It just feels too crowded to me. Something very light, your lightest yellow or a white print, 1.5 to 2 times the width of your inner floater.

    Also, I'd be interested to see how it looks with the teeth pointed out. In general, I just usually prefer that (better feng shui), but I don't know if it would be better here. In that case I might try a narrow light blue or medium green floater before the teeth, and then a band of yellow outside the teeth to finish it off. Take lots of photos and let us know how it goes!

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    1. That's one aspect I like, Monica. These little sawteeth look like leaves piled on the ground. I like that image. Hadn't thought of a floater/stop border. It does look crowded; that's one part I like though. I also tend to like a darder "frame" around quilts so usually have the darker part out and/or a darker binding. Doesn't make it right or wrong but it's good to realize my preferences/biases. Can't get too hidebound. Thanks.

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  5. I really like your sawtooth border. I agree that a light thin border in between would probably do the trick.

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    1. I will have to have a search through my stash. It's worth a look. Thanks.

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  6. I love the bird and leaf border. It feels crowded in now, as you said. Why not try an outer border of solid or a blender to see how that looks. I have an appliquéd quilt from the 1840's and each border Has different variations of flower and leaves. Your border reminds me so much of that quilt. Keep looking and trying until you just know it's right.





    variations of the flower and leaves.

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    1. I've seen many beautiful antique quilts with solid borders, too. I hadn't considered a second row of applique. Hmm. I do need the practice.

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  7. Maybe point them the other way?
    (I really like those triangles!)

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    1. I'll take a look. I did briefly consider it but never set the triangles up that direction. Thanks, Gayle.

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  8. I love the improv triangles but think they pull the eye away from the centre of the quilt.

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    1. I hadn't thought of that, Maureen. Thanks.

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  9. OOooooo! very busy...really detracts from the beauty of the vine. I like the triangles but Think it would look better on a more wonky design.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion to try yellow last time. This is busy, which I like better than quiet. But something's not right. You may be correct: pushing this into improv may not be the best choice.

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  10. I love the feel of the quilt, it is really great. I'm thinking if the outer wonky triangles were longer, the border was quite a bit wider, it may work better?

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    1. How kind of you, Scarlett. We may be on the same wavelength. I've been thinking it needs longer/wider outer triangles.

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  11. I like the idea of using narrow borders to break things up. I would have expected these to work - maybe if you made them more like blunt sawtooth units, so the triangle shape was roughly equilateral instead of right-angled, echoing the segments of the spiders web? I like the general busyness though.

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    1. I hadn't thought of isosceles or equilateral triangles. Might be a good idea. (I'm running out of fabric, though. I'll soon have enough triangles for another quilt, too. Who'd have thought?)
      I'm glad someone else likes busyness.

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  12. A bit of a tricky one this! I tend to think the focus is the wonderful spider webs, so I like the idea of a scrappy keyboard border, gently reflecting the centre. I will be very keen to see what you end up doing!

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    1. You are the second person to suggest piano keys. I used it on a quilt last year but hadn't considered it this time. Now I will. Thanks.

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  13. How about turning the triangles so the base of the yellow ones are to the outside. It is a minor change, but what could it hurt?

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